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Vowel discrimination at high fundamental frequencies in real speech


Friedrichs, Daniel; Maurer, Dieter; Suter, Heidy; Dellwo, Volker (2014). Vowel discrimination at high fundamental frequencies in real speech. In: 167th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Providence, Rhode Island, USA, 5 May 2014 - 9 May 2014, 2422.

Abstract

Previous research showed that, in singing, vowel qualities of isolated vowel sounds can be discriminated up to a fundamental frequency (F0) of about 500 Hz. However, indications are reported in literature for vowel discrimination on F0 > 500 Hz for singing (raised larynx condition, CVC context) as well as for speech-like sounds. In this study, we tested vowel discrimination at a high F0 in speech using minimal pairs build from eight long German vowels. Words were produced in speech mode at F0 of about 650 Hz by two female speakers. For all samples except the words including /a/ and /ɛ/, F0 exceeded F1 values as given in vowel statistics for Standard German. In a listening test, stimuli were played back in random order to 14 listeners (7f, 7m) for identification. The results showed that vowel discrimination can be preserved at such high fundamental frequencies. This could mean that, for our speakers and the high fundamental frequency examined, (1) source-filter-characteristics were effective up to 650 Hz, or (2) transitions played a crucial role, or (3) other spectral characteristics than formants have to be taken into account in order to explain these results.

Previous research showed that, in singing, vowel qualities of isolated vowel sounds can be discriminated up to a fundamental frequency (F0) of about 500 Hz. However, indications are reported in literature for vowel discrimination on F0 > 500 Hz for singing (raised larynx condition, CVC context) as well as for speech-like sounds. In this study, we tested vowel discrimination at a high F0 in speech using minimal pairs build from eight long German vowels. Words were produced in speech mode at F0 of about 650 Hz by two female speakers. For all samples except the words including /a/ and /ɛ/, F0 exceeded F1 values as given in vowel statistics for Standard German. In a listening test, stimuli were played back in random order to 14 listeners (7f, 7m) for identification. The results showed that vowel discrimination can be preserved at such high fundamental frequencies. This could mean that, for our speakers and the high fundamental frequency examined, (1) source-filter-characteristics were effective up to 650 Hz, or (2) transitions played a crucial role, or (3) other spectral characteristics than formants have to be taken into account in order to explain these results.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Other), not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Comparative Linguistics
Dewey Decimal Classification:490 Other languages
890 Other literatures
410 Linguistics
Language:English
Event End Date:9 May 2014
Deposited On:24 Oct 2014 17:03
Last Modified:11 Aug 2016 12:01
Publisher:American Institute of Physics
Number:4
ISSN:0001-4966
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1121/1.4878045

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